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The River

Title:  The River
Author:  Michael Neale
Pages:  320
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
                When was the last time you took a risk?  The risk I am talking about is the one of facing the past head on in order to move forward in the journey of life.  The River is a collection of various parts of the author’s life story, including conversations and events.  Sometimes we forget to stop and really listen to the leading of the Lord.  All people on earth are acquainted with grief, sorrow, heartache, joy, exhilaration, and triumph.  The older people have within themselves a reservoir of knowledge as well as wisdom to pass on to others.
The theme is what different people learn when whitewater rafting, and deciding what course to take after the ride is over.  The main character is a little boy whose father is lost while saving a life, and the life he subsequently struggled through as he grew up.  While this is fictionally based, it will be interesting to discover how the story speaks to you.  What family stories have you found yourself telling over and over again?  Perhaps you don’t say anything to anyone, but maybe you think about the stories of your life as you wait for a ride somewhere, watch the sun set or wait at a stop light.  Did you ever read a journal from someone in your family?  This young man read not only the words of his father, but of his grandfather too.  When he did read the words of wisdom, he understood who he was because of where he came from.
Perhaps that is why Jesus used stories so much because everyone likes listening to a story.  Jesus’ teachings were what made the stories life-changing with the backdrop being everyday life.  He used the life events of His day to show the reality of Who He was then and still is today.  Did it ever cause you to pause and think that no matter how many times the disciples heard the stories; the light of understanding didn’t go on right away?
The River challenges this young man and others to sit and be still.  It calls them to face and conquer their fears and to really know the joy of triumph at the end.  While there are parts of this novel that may not be in a setting your life is in, I am thinking your heart will be touched as was mine.  The story is told while two men are waiting to fly out of an airport to go home.  When the hearer of the story leaves the airport, the story itself resonates within his heart.  Don’t be surprised if it resonates within yours as well.
I read this in one sitting and was mesmerized while reading the book.  Even if you don’t have time to read the whole book at one time, make time to read it through several sittings.  You can surely identify with the themes of love, friendship, heartache, forgiveness, and learning to live again.  The novel is a great tale that will touch you to the depths of your soul; I know it did mine.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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